Dominguez v. Yahoo, Inc.

AuthorWilliams, Colin
PositionTelephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 remedies

894 F.3D 116 (3D CIR. 2018)


    In Dominguez v. Yahoo, Inc., (1) the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment dismissing the Plaintiff's lawsuit alleging that Yahoo had violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by inundating him with thousands of text messages without his consent. (2) In doing so, the court applied the D.C. Circuit's recent decision in ACA International v. FCC, which was issued while the appeal of this case was pending. (3)


    In 1991, Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to "protect the privacy interests of residential telephone subscribers by placing restrictions on unsolicited, automated telephone calls to the home and to facilitate interstate commerce by restricting certain uses of... automatic dialers." (4) The Act delegated to the FCC the authority to promulgate additional regulations as necessary. (5) The FCC has subsequently issued declaratory rulings to clarify its interpretation of the statute. (6)

    In December 2011, the Plaintiff purchased a cell phone and new telephone number. (7) The telephone number was previously used by a subscriber to Yahoo's email-notification service, which texted users whenever an email was sent to the subscriber's email address. (8) The telephone number's prior owner never changed the forwarding information for the email-notification service, and, consequently, the Plaintiff received all text messages related to his the Yahoo subscription. (9)

    The Plaintiff tried a number of options to stop the messages, but they were all to no avail. He initially replied "stop" and "help" to the messages, followed by contacting Yahoo's customer service line directly with his grievances, but Yahoo informed him that they could not stop the messages. (10) He even called Yahoo's customer service again with a representative from the FCC, but this was unsuccessful as well. (11) Having exhausted his options, the Plaintiff filed complaints with the FCC and FTC. (12)

    The Plaintiff received 27,809 text messages over the course of the 17 months with his new cell phone and reassigned telephone number. (13) In order to stop the calls, the Plaintiff decided to file a putative class action lawsuit under the TCPA. (14) The Act makes it unlawful to send calls or text messages "using any automatic telephone dialing system... to any telephone number assigned to a... cellular telephone service" without the owner's prior express...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT